Back To School: Quick And Easy Lunchbox Ideas To Impress Your Kids
Image Credit: Image: Chef Ranveer Brar

Pleasing the kids is, perhaps, one of the most challenging things parents have to deal with, especially when it comes to food. Not only are their taste buds much more enhanced, most often it is not easy to lure them into liking what they don’t. I remember my six-year-old nephew once found out when his mother tried feeding him minced paneer (which he hates) by saying it is actually minced chicken. Kids these days can differentiate between minced cottage cheese and chicken too. Making sure they are adequately fed with enough nutrition for steady growth and development, while also maintaining good taste, is a tough task to complete. And packing the perfect lunchbox for your child for school is probably one of the most challenging of them.  

It’s easy to run out of ideas when it comes to your kid’s lunchbox, given how picky they are, and at school there will be no one to run after them. To make them excited about their lunch is a hard feat to achieve, don’t you think? Moreover, packing and finding the same stuff day after day can become boring for parents as well as kids. According to health experts, your child’s lunchbox should be packed with at least three food groups. Since the lunchbox mostly consists of starchy foods, make sure you give some fruit or salad as a side for your child’s daily dose of fibre. On the other hand, it is also important to respect your child’s likes and preferences. Experts also suggest involving your kids in the process once in a while - from choosing the ingredients to helping in preparing their own meals - so that they can learn and develop their palate, besides developing a deeper interest in different kinds of food.

Now that the kids are back to school, the struggle is also back, and the pressure is real. But you can make their school days fun by bringing them a tasty tiffin. Here are a few handpicked recipes curated by Chef Ranveer Brar that will not just make your life easier, but also make your kid’s lunch time at school fun.  

1. Superhero Paratha 


· ¼ cup strawberry-flavoured syrup 

· ⅓ cup chocolate-flavoured syrup 

· ¼ cup finger millet flour (ragi) 

· ¾ cup wheat flour 

· ¼ cup beetroot juice 

· Salt as per your taste 

· 2 tablespoons ghee 

· ½ cup cheese grated 

· A few mint leaves 

Equipment needed:

· Frying pan 

· Dough roller

· Bowl 

Time required: 

· 15 mins 


For chocolate-flavoured paratha:

1. Take ragi flour and wheat flour in a bowl, add the chocolate-flavoured syrup, ghee and knead into firm dough. Add water, if required. 

For strawberry-flavoured paratha: 

1. Take wheat flour in a bowl, add strawberry-flavoured syrup, beetroot juice, ghee and knead into firm dough. Add water, if required. 

2. Roll out the parathas and cook with ghee. 

3. Decorate as desired. 

4. Garnish with cheese and serve. 

Image: Chef Ranveer Brar

2. Emoji Idli 


· ¼ cup Hershey’s strawberry-flavoured syrup 

· ⅓ cup chocolate-flavoured syrup 

· 1 bowl ready Idli batter 

· 1 cup rice flour 

· 1 tablespoon oil 

· ½ cup beetroot juice 

Equipment needed: 

· Idli steamer 

· Piping bag 

Time required: 

· 15 mins 


1. Wash and soak urad dal, fenugreek seeds and white/brown rice separately. 

2. Drain the water from urad dal and grind together with fenugreek seeds in a wet grinder adding ¼ cup water only. Keep it aside. 

3. Now, grind the poha into a fine powder. Mix it with urad dal batter. 

4. Drain the water from the white/brown rice and grind the rice in the wet grinder. 

5. Add ½ - ¾ cup water while grinding. 

6. Mix all the batters together and add salt, mix again thoroughly. The dough should be thick in consistency. 

7. Keep the batter in a large bowl and allow it to ferment in a warm place for 4-5 hrs. 

8. Once the batter is fermented, give a nice mix. 

9. Separate three equal parts of batter in separate bowls. 

10. In the first part of the batter, add little beetroot juice and strawberry syrup and mix well. Add rice flour if needed to thicken the batter. 

11. Divide the second part of the batter into two bowls. In one bowl, add little beetroot juice and strawberry syrup and mix well. In another bowl, add chocolate syrup and cocoa powder and mix well. 

12. Make two cones from butter paper or take piping bags and fill separately the strawberry flavour batter in one and chocolate flavour batter in another and keep aside. 

13. Keep the third part of the batter as it is. 

14. Heat water in an idli steamer. Grease the idli plates with oil, and put muslin cloth over the mould. 

15. Pour the strawberry batter in idli mould and in another mould pour the white batter and keep idlis for steaming. 

16. Once the idlis are cooked at about 75% (about 10 minutes), then using the piping bag batter make emoji’s on the idlis. On the white idlis, use the strawberry batter and on the strawberry idlis use the chocolate batter. 

17. Wipe the idli steamer lid and put the idlis back to cook fully for about 5-10 minutes. 

18. Remove the idlis, when slightly cool, and serve. 

3. Chocolatey Sheera 


· ⅓ cup chocolate-flavoured syrup 

· 3 tablespoon ghee 

· 100gm semolina 

· 200ml water 

· ¼ cup sugar 

· Finely-chopped almonds and pistachios for garnishing 

Equipment needed: 

· Non-stick saucepan 

· 1 spatula 

· 2 serving bowls 

Time required: 

· 15 mins 


1. Put a saucepan on medium heat, add the ghee and let it melt. 

2. Once the ghee melts, add semolina and roast till the colour changes to a light golden brown. 

3. Add water slowly followed by chocolate flavoured syrup. Keep stirring. 

4. Cover the pan and let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes. 

5. Garnish with sliced almonds and serve hot. 

4. Nutty Broccoli Salad 


· 2 tablespoons chocolate-flavoured syrup 

· 1 cup broccoli (florets) 

· ½ cup apple (chopped) 

· 1 tablespoon lemon juice 

· Pinch orange zest 

· 1 tablespoon sea salt 

· 1 tablespoon chilli flakes 

· ½ tablespoons black pepper 

· ½ cup almonds 

· 1 tablespoon fresh dill

· ½ cup iceberg lettuce 

· 5 tablespoon olive oil 

Equipment needed: 

· 1 large mixing bowl

Time required: 

· 15 mins 


1. In a bowl add strawberry-flavoured syrup, lemon juice, orange zest, salt, chilli flakes black pepper, mix well, and olive oil. Keep this aside. 

2. Blanch chopped broccoli for 15 seconds. 

3. Soak it in ice water. 

4. Next, chop some apples. 

5. Tear the lettuce leaves carefully. 

6. Chop some almonds. 

7. Now in another bowl add broccoli, apples, salt, almond, cranberries, dill, and iceberg. Mix and keep aside. 

8. When serving add the dressing to the broccoli mixture and toss the salad together. 

9. The dish is now ready to be served.